Food & Drink

Diwali, The Festival Of Lights, Celebrated In Berkeley Heights

Credits: Barbara Rybolt
From left, Richa Gupta, Shivani Pradhan, Vishakha Bansal and Sravana Malladi were among the many people who attended the celebration of Diwali on Saturday, Oct. 15. Credits: Barbara Rybolt

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Saturday afternoon more than 100 people gathered at the library to celebrate Diwali, an Indian festival that celebrates the victory of good vs. evil and coincides with the Hindu New Year. More people attended than anyone expected and, from the smiles and laughter, the entire Diwali celebration was a big hit.

Saturday's event was arranged by the Berkeley Heights Cultural Committee, a group which was organized to allow residents to learn about and embrace the many different cultures represented by township residents and those in neighboring towns. Previously the committee held a Martin Luther King Jr.'s event and a Chinese New Year's celebration.

On Saturday, Oct.15, as many as three generations of some families attended the festival of lights. The actual festival this year occurs on Oct. 30 and will be celebrated that day around the world.

Sign Up for E-News

Youngsters who came to Saturday's event found a myriad of craft projects.  A popular one was to decorate a design using glue and various colors of sand.  Others chose to use crayons to color in the Hindu word "Aum," which means peace, or to color an image of Diya, which we call an oil lamp, and its flame, and then use pretend jewels to decorate the image.

In the lower level meeting room, there were two buffet tables set up with all sorts of Indian food and on a third wall, there was an altar surrounded by sparkling lights. On the altar were images of various Hindu gods, Diya, and traditional offerings for the gods. 

While women sang traditional prayers for the ceremony, barefooted women, some with young children, took a Diya on a decorated plate and moved it in a circular motion in front of the altar.  They handed the Diya to another pair of women who did the same, then passed the Diya on to the next pair in line.  This continued for quite a while until the singing came to a close.  Then it was time for the children to perform. Some played the piano, others sang while playing the piano, others simply sang and others danced.  While all these things were going on, people walked back and forth to the buffet tables, picking up food to enjoy with the music. 

Two Berkeley Heights restaurants, Neelam Indian Restaurant and East, donated much of the food. Other foods came from participants in the festival.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Free Public Panel Will Explore Sexual Assault and Consent

April 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites members of the public to attend a panel discussion on sexual assault and consent on Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. in Room N-4 at Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford. The panel will feature a question and answer session.

The panel discussion is intended to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent in ...

Annual Fishing Derby Returns to Oakwood Park on Saturday, April 28

Mark your calendars!  The annual Fishing Derby returns to Oakwood Park Saturday, April 28th, rain or shine, from 8:00 – 11:00am.  Co-sponsored by New Providence P.B.A. Local #132 and New Providence Recreation, this family favorite event is one of the borough’s “signs of spring”!

Bring your rod, reel & bait to fish for trout of varying sizes stocked in ...

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

New Providence Borough Council to Cultivate Relationships with County Officials

April 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Robert Robinson touted the importance of personal relationships with Union County representatives at the Monday, April 9 council meeting.

Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Bette Jane Kowalski attended the Street Smart campaign kick-off event prior to the meeting providing the council members with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with the two ...

Chatham Township Committee Unanimously Adopts Ordinance to Ban Marijuana Retail Sales; Cannabis Advocates Disagree

April 13, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter began the new year by pledging to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and Thursday night he followed through by voting to adopt an ordinance that prohibits "marijuana cultivation, production testing, manufacturing facilities and retail stores' in the township.

The Chatham Township Committee ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Peace , New Providence

Our Lady of the Peace Church Holds Healing & ...

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival


Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Education Other